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EDITOR OF REDSTATE

The National Review’s Candidate Won’t Stop Digging

Standing Athwart History Yelling "Thank You Sir, May I Have Another."

It is days like today that make me thankful I think they all suck. At least I’m thankful I’m in the firmly not Romney camp.

Having told us only Romney was viable (with half-nods to Huntsman and Santorum) and having trotted out Elliot Abrams to smear Newt Gingrich with out of context quotes, even National Review is having trouble defending their candidate today.

This morning Mitt Romney said he wasn’t concerned about the poor. The poor, after all, have food stamps and Medicaid. But don’t worry. If the safety net is broken, Patrician Mitt Romney will fix it so the poor can stay comfortably poor. After all, just look what he did in Massachusetts. The poor can now wait 44 days to get in to see a doctor. Excelsior!

After making sure we all understood the poor were for the Democrats to be worried about, Romney decided to keep digging his hole even bigger. By the end of the day, Jim DeMint had to rebuke him.

Romney, digging his hole deeper, said his remark needed more context. The context, according to Romney, is that we have government programs to keep the poor . . . well . . . poor but comfortable:

We do have a very ample safety net in America, with Medicaid, housing vouchers, food stamps, earned income tax credit. We have a number of ways of helping the poor. And yet my focus and the area that I think is the greatest challenge that the country faces right now is not, is not to focus our effort on how we help the poor as much as to focus our effort on how to help the middle class in America.

Oh, but that’s not all. If you misunderstood patrician Mitt Romney, he trotted out the other New England patrician, John Sununu — the man who advised George H. W. Bush to go with David Souter — to dig the hole even deeper. Sununu told the National Review that their candidate has no intention of changing policies to those that might actually lift the poor out of poverty into the middle class.

“He was saying that we do not need to change policies for them. Same goes for the super-rich, who are fine. It’s the middle class; they’re the ones we need to be aggressive in helping. They’re the ones who’ve taken the brunt of the bad Obama policies of the past three years.”

Note the use of “they’re” in talking about the middle class. They have been hurt most. Not the poor. Not the rich. So much for the GOP condemning class warfare. Romney’s folks are going with it too. Where Obama goes for “fair shares”, Romney wants to focus only on those hurt “most.”

But the coup de grace came late today when, to mitigate the damage, Romney reminded everyone he supports automatic hikes in the minimum wage — a truly conservative position.

The National Review sure does know how to pick them. Glad they’ll be defending him in the general. I’m not sure I’ll waste my time. Sure, I’ll vote for him. But I think I’ll focus on House and Senate races so when the buyers remorse sets in on those who backed Romney we’re not completely screwed down ballot.

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